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40% Transfer Bonus from HSBC Rewards to British Airways Avios

HSBC Rewards has implemented a 40% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios for the month of July 2021, following a similar 35% transfer bonus back in November 2020.

The 40% Transfer Bonus

Until July 31, 2021, you’ll receive a 40% bonus when you convert HSBC Rewards points to British Airways Avios.

The standard conversion ratio is 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 10,000 Avios, so the ratio has effectively been bumped up to 25,000 HSBC Rewards points = 14,000 Avios for the month of July – effectively, a shade over 2:1.

Keep in mind that HSBC Rewards follows a rather peculiar redemption structure when it comes to its trio of frequent flyer partners:

  • A minimum of 25,000 HSBC Rewards points must be redeemed at once
  • On top of the minimum amount, HSBC Rewards points may be redeemed in increments of 10,000 points

Therefore, you have the option of converting your HSBC Rewards points in chunks of 25,000, 35,000, 45,000, etc., earning you 14,000, 19,600 Avios, 25,200 Avios, and so on. If you wanted to convert, say, exactly 50,000 HSBC Rewards points into 28,000 Avios, you’d need to do so in two transactions of 25,000 points each. 

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
Welcome Bonus
Up to 70,000 HSBC Rewards points
Annual Fee
First Year Free
First-Year Value
$386

On the surface, it seems like this transfer bonus coincides nicely with a strong signup offer we’re currently seeing on the HSBC World Elite Mastercard.

Until December 28, 2020, the HSBC World Elite is offering an outstanding welcome bonus of 100,000–130,000 HSBC Rewards points, depending on where you live in Canada:

  • If you live outside of Quebec, you’ll earn up to 50,000 HSBC Rewards points in the first year:
    • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon first purchase
    • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first six months (although you’ll still have to wait the full six months before receiving these points)
    • 10,000 HSBC Rewards points upon adding your first authorized user (for a $50 annual fee)
    • The annual fee of $149 is also rebated for the first year.
  • If you live in Quebec, you’ll earn up to 80,000 HSBC Rewards points in the first year:
    • 20,000 HSBC Rewards points upon first purchase
    • 50,000 HSBC Rewards points upon keeping your account open and in good standing for six months
    • 10,000 HSBC Rewards points upon adding your first authorized user (for a $50 annual fee)

Unfortunately, most cardholders’ experiences indicate that even if you live outside of Quebec and complete the minimum spending within the first few months, the spend-based component of 20,000 HSBC Rewards points often still get credited to your account only after a six-month waiting period.

Therefore, cardholders who signed up under the current offer probably won’t be able to take full advantage of it.

However, you will be able to take advantage of the 40% bonus using the initial 20,000 HSBC Rewards points that you earn from the HSBC World Elite, because that’s granted when you make your first purchase.

Therefore, if you just signed up for the card since the current offer was launched in May and you’ve met the $5,000 spending (outside of Quebec), then you’ll end up with at least 35,000 HSBC Rewards points: 20,000 points from the initial bonus, and 15,000 points from the 3x base earning rate on purchases.

Those 35,000 points would normally convert into 14,000 British Airways Avios, but under the current bonus, you’d end up with 19,600 Avios.

That’s already enough for a one-way transatlantic flight already on the Toronto–Dublin route with Aer Lingus, or a round-trip short-haul flight within North America with American Airlines – and you haven’t even received the rest of your bonus yet!

Is It a Good Deal to Transfer HSBC Rewards to British Airways Avios?

If you happen to have HSBC Rewards points sitting around from previous offers (such as when the card was doling out a record-high 100,000+ points back in the winter of 2020) or from your regular spending, then it’s worth thinking about whether the 40% transfer bonus represents the best use-case for you.

As I’ve written about previously, the baseline redemption method for HSBC Rewards is to offset against travel purchases at a rate of 200 points = $1, or effectively 0.5 cents per point (cpp). You simply charge any travel purchase to your card and then retroactively apply your points to the purchase and “wipe” it from the statement.

(And if you redeemed your points this way against a refundable travel purchase and later went ahead and cancelled it, then the refund would go back to your credit card, essentially leaving you with a statement credit.)

Meanwhile, if you were to transfer HSBC Rewards points to Avios with a 40% transfer bonus in place, then we can think about how much value you’d need to redeem your resulting Avios for in order to “beat” the baseline redemption.

Let’s imagine that you have 50,000 HSBC Rewards points in your balance, which could be redeemed as $250 in travel purchases.

Until the end of July, it can also be converted into 28,000 British Airways Avios – although keep in mind that you’ll need to make this transfer in two chunks of 25,000 points each, as outlined above.

In my view, 28,000 Avios is easily the more attractive option here – you’d simply need to redeem them for at least 0.89cpp in order to come out ahead compared to the baseline cash option.

Extracting 0.89cpp from your Avios should be pretty effortless, whether you’re looking to book Toronto–Dublin on Aer Lingus, Montreal–Casablanca on Royal Air Maroc, short-haul flights on Oneworld carriers within other parts of the world, or a creatively assembled Avios multi-carrier booking around the world.

Additionally, with a 40% bonus in place, the Avios transfer option also handily beats out the other two frequent flyer partners: converting at a 25:9 ratio to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or a 25:8 ratio to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles – unless you’re one of the dedicated folks who had applied for the HSBC World Elite with the sole objective of earning KrisFlyer miles so you can fly Singapore Suites one day.

Conclusion

The 40% bonus from HSBC Rewards to British Airways Avios represents a fantastic opportunity to extract maximum value out of your HSBC Rewards points. If you have any sitting in your account at the moment (perhaps from the record high 100,000-point bonuses last winter), consider moving them over to Avios during this month.

You might need to strategize some of your spending to top-up to the required points thresholds for a transfer, but I’d expect that effort to be well worth it in terms of the ultimate redemption value.

While the timing of this promotion aligns very well with the record-high offer we saw on the HSBC World Elite Mastercard last year, it isn’t the best timing for anyone who’s applied more recently – due to the fact that it can often take the full six months to receive your welcome bonus even if you complete the spending in the first month.

With a 35% transfer bonus showing up in November 2020 and now a 40% bonus in July 2021, hopefully we can count on this promotion to return year after year so that our recently accumulated stash of HSBC Rewards points can be put to optimal use.

40 Comments
  1. Haruna

    This works! I got my 40% Avios posted!
    FYI: they took 3 days for me (transferred points on Wednesday, got Avios on Saturday)!

  2. JJ Adam's

    Hi
    I have tried logging in a few times now and there is no mention of the transfer bonus/promotion anywhere. When i add the points to the ‘cart’ the bonus is not reflected either. Is there anyway to guarantee the 40% before submitting the transaction?

    Thanks!

    1. Neil

      As mentioned below Omar and I both tested transfers of 25K HSBC miles and received 14K Avios so it is working with the 40% bonus. Great promotion offer HSBC. Don’t notify anybody and don’t even display it in the rewards for miles page.

  3. Glen Alfred Doucet

    Seems like its been 2 years since RBC did a conversion bonus with BA…you hearing anything on this?

  4. Steve

    Just took a look for J class Avios redemption seats next summer YVR to LHR. Seems there’s nothing available all summer and only a few days here and there in the spring. Have they been booked or not yet released?

  5. Prashant

    It works. Trial 25k avios transfer got me 14000 British airways. Went all in with the rest of 200k hsbc!

    1. Marcus

      Thanks champ

  6. HonMun

    Which will be the best redemption option for YVR to TYO on Business Class: Avios or AsiaMiles?
    Thank you

    1. Ricky

      61,000 Asia Miles vs. 77,250 Avios.

    2. Jay*

      Can’t just search yourself?

  7. Omar

    Read on other blogs that the transfer is going through with the 40% bonus, but not shown on checkout. Im testing the waters now with 25000 pts and will report on the outcome.

    1. Omar

      Worked just fine. I got 14000 avios today for my 25000 HSBC. Only took a day.
      Now its time to move the rest over!

      1. Omar

        Sorry, wrong thread. will repost.

  8. Neil

    Must be targeted for Ricky 🙂 I applied in November and I’m sitting on 115K points and waiting in the weeds. Since meeting the 5K MSR I’ve hardly used it except recently to cash out the travel enhancement credit for AC seat selections.

    1. Neil

      Like Omar I also ran a test redemption of 25K HSBC and juts received 14K Avios miles. Yea! Cashed in the rest of my allowable HSBC points.

  9. George

    I also do not see the 40% bonus message. Can anybody confirm that the transfer bonus exisits. I am currently sitting on 400k HSBC reward points and would like to transfer them out with a bonus.

  10. Danny

    I logged in and also don’t see any reference to the 40% bonus. Is it somehow targeted or not active yet?

    1. Jay

      Chatted with HSBC rep. The rep says the deal is active. I mentioned that I could not find any reference on any HSBC official URLs. I asked her if she is aware of any URLs. She says no but can look into it. In the meantime, she sent me a link to a blog that mentions the deal… voila,she sent me to princeoftravel.com 🙂

      1. Danny

        Looked around a bit more and seems there are also multiple DPs on reddit confirming this unadvertised bonus also

  11. Lily

    I just talked to HSBC rewards customer service Rep. I was told no such offer of 40% bonus AVIOS. He asked me where did I see this info. He asked to phone BA. Where is the source of this info? Anyone has a link for this offer?

    1. Ricky

      HSBC confirmed the promotion with us directly. As Jay mentions above – the link is here.

  12. John

    For anyone considering montreal-casablance, I just priced it out compared to aeroplan. Aug 18-26th.

    Avios, round trip: 124,000 avios + $524 USD. (I think it is USD anyway)
    Aeroplan: 113400 + $157.19 CAD.

    Both business class. AC has lie flat seats on that route too. The transfer bonus certainly makes Avios cheaper but that is a sizeable difference in cash cost.

    I have more aeroplan than I can use at the moment so personally I think I’ll go for the cashback rather than keep a speculative avios balance. Can see going the other way though.

    Aeroplan pricing was with a premium credit card, no aeroplan status. Yet 😉

    1. Omar

      Ricky.. Just applied for the American Express business reserve card. I already have the personal reserve card from last year. Am I correct in assuming that I can put $5,000 in food spending on both cards to meet the 25k status and then put the balance of the $10,000 on the business reserve card before the end of November? Or am I forced to meet the spending by October 15th since I have the personal reserve card already. As always,your infinite wisdom is appreciated! LOL

      1. Omar

        Sorry.. My goal is to get to 35K status if possible. I have no status at the moment.

  13. Omar

    great timing since my card is coming up for renewal in sept. but i dont the promo on their site. maybe not updated yet?

    1. Ricky

      HSBC confirmed the promotion directly with us. It’s a mystery to me that it isn’t displayed anywhere online, either.

  14. Larry

    With regards to the new 40% bonus until the 31 July 2021, I cannot see any reference to it when signed into HSBC account or Rewards, nor would 2 different people in HSBC Rewards would hear about it , they all confirmed they do not have any info to support the claim…
    Having over 100k HSBC pts sitting around, just want to make sure…
    Is it anecdotal or targeted? Any official link to source

    1. Phyuk Yu

      Same concern nothing on HSBC website and called in to check agents had no clue about this. Seeing some positive DP’s but this could be targeted? Ricky please confirm official source thanks.

  15. Omar

    Ricky,
    Im currently sitting on 95000 HSBC points and my card is due to renew in Sept. If another 35% AVIOS bonus presents itself this fall, would it favorable to keep the card for another year and pay the $149 fee to get the bonus points? My calculations seem to show that I would receive 38,000 avios points now OR 51,300 avios points during the 35% promotion. The difference in value (51300-38000=13,300 @ $.017= $226 bonus) SHOULD outweigh the cost of another years fees.

    thoughts?

    1. Josh

      If you use the travel enhancement credit, your keeper fees are only $49. I’d say it’s worth it to hold the card – gives you a good no FX option for another year.

      1. Omar

        good catch..another little bonus.

        Any idea what the data points show for reapplying for this card once youve cancelled?

  16. Paul A Russell

    Hi Ricky–

    I was one of the April sign ups for the lesser 60,000 point offer. HSBC continues to frustrate me. I got the 20,000 point initial bonus (upon first purchase). I then spent $5,000 on the card in the first couple of months. I then found out about having to wait until the 6 month window passed before the remaining 40,000 points are credited.

    However, now that 6 months has passed, there’s still nothing. I phoned in, and they are now saying that you get credited “within two billing cycles after the 6 month mark”. This means I miss the 35% Avios bonus transfer window for those points in November. In addition, if there is no activity on your account in a month, they don’t create a statement. My billing statements are now Oct 9 (my last one) and then jumps to Dec 9 (missing November, since I had no activity). It’s not clear whether this further extends the time to get the 40,000 points.

    I have to say, customer service in this regard has been awful too, with long waits, conflicting information, and transfers back and forth between the rewards people and the credit people. Plus, I had to go into a branch (5 miles away) in April at the height of the first wave to apply for the card. Needless to say, this is the first and last HSBC credit card I’ll ever own.

    I don’t expect banks to have American Express level service, but it’s got to be better than this.

  17. James

    Hi Ricky, I had the HSBC WE Card and cancelled it in December 2019. I currently have an HSBC Premier WE Card. If I reapply for the HSBC WE card now, would I receive the 100K bonus?

    1. Kyrie English

      Call your RM tofind out?

  18. Kyrie English

    Is it possible to use the refundable hotel trick to get the points and transfer them before Nov30?

    1. Ricky

      You mean get points based on your spending? In theory yes but you’d end up with a negative points balance after you refund the hotel, and that’s never good.

  19. Ed

    Hey Ricky, is there a link for this? There is no mention of this promo anywhere on the HSBC rewards portal. Thanks!

Ricky

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